Roasted Banana Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Bananas rule the dessert world. There's banana cream pie, banana's foster, banoffee pie, and often times banana cheesecake. With my devilish dessert mind, I tried to think of a way to blind these styles of banana desserts into one incredible showstopper. A traditional cheesecake batter and graham cracker crust, I folded in caramelized-roasted bananas, then after baking, I spread a generous layer of dark chocolate ganache on top. It was a beautiful experience, and I suggest you try this very soon! It could be the curve ball dessert for your Thanksgiving party, for those bums that are anti-pumpkin or anti-apple desserts. Makes one 10-inch cheesecake.
3Xbananas, ripe and peeled
¼CUPdark brown sugar
2 ½CUPSgraham cracker crumbs (or about 17 sheets)
6TBSPNSunsalted butter, melted
24OZScream cheese, room temperature
CUPgranulated sugar
3Xeggs, room temperature
¼CUPwhole milk, room temperature
2TSPNSvanilla extract
4OZSsemisweet chocolate chips
4OZSbittersweet chocolate chips
½CUPheavy cream

For the bananas:

  1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Create a tin foil packet, and place the bananas inside it on a baking sheet.
  2. Sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the bananas, and leave the foil packet open. 
  3. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, spooning the juices back over top of the bananas a few times during roasting.
  4. Once dark and golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Gently with a fork, mash the bananas to incorporate into the sugary juices until macerated. Set aside until ready to use.

For the crust:

  1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan, then place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire springform pan in tin foil up to the sides to prepare for the water bath.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, stirring until fully combined. Press the mixture into the prepared springform pan and slightly up the sides. 
  3. Set the springform pan in the center of the oven, and bake for about 8 minutes. Keep the oven on, and remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the cheesecake:

  1. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for a few minutes to smooth it out.
  2. Add the sugar, keeping the mixer on and beat together for an additional 4 minutes.
  3. One at a time, add the eggs, mixing between each addition until the eggs are fully incorporated. 
  4. Add in the cooled, mashed bananas and their juices, then the milk and vanilla extract, beating the entire cheesecake batter until just combined, about 2 minutes.
  5. Using a spatula, transfer the cheesecake mixture into the prepared crust in the springform pan. Gently spread the mixture into an even layer, tapping the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  6. Place the banana cheesecake wrapped with tin foil into a roasting pan, fill half way up the sides of the springform pan with water, then cover with tin foil.
  7. Gently set the roasting pan and cheesecake into the oven, and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat, remove the tin foil from the top of the cheesecake, and allow to rest in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. 
  9. Set on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes, then place in the fridge to cool for about 1 hour before topping with the ganache.

For the ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, pour in the cream and bring to just before a boil.
  2. Once the cream is simmering, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Use a spatula to mix until all the chocolate is melted and is smooth in consistency.
  3. Let sit to thicken for about 5 minutes, then gently spread a generous layer overtop of your cheesecake.

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